ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Ramadan: “Opportunity for dialogue”

Thursday, 14 March 2024 dialogue   islam   ramadan  

Zamboanga City (Agenzia Fides) - "The period of the annual Ramadan in 2024, the holy month for the Muslim faithful, coincides with the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the dialogue movement 'Silsilah'. The spirituality of 'Silsilah' is the "spirituality of life in dialogue". Therefore, this year with 'Silsilah' we would like to share a spiritual message of love with the Muslim Ummah (community) and all of humanity. Love grows when there is a spirituality of deeper dialogue with God, with ourselves, with fellow human beings and with creation. This is what we call the spirituality of living in dialogue. This is the spirituality that we share with the Muslim faithful in our interreligious community Silsilah", the Italian missionary Father Sebastiano d'Ambra from the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) to Fides in a comment on the message spread by the movement for Islamic-Christian dialogue "Silsilah", which he founded and operates in the southern Philippines, on the occasion of the holy month for the Islamic community. "The Silsilah dialogue movement sees the month of Ramadan as a fruitful opportunity for solidarity with the Muslim community in the Philippines and around the world," said the missionary. "We Christians – he adds - who experience a similar time of reflection to return to ourselves, Lent - empathize with the Muslim faithful. Fasting, prayer and charity are the cornerstones of the Spirituality of Ramadan, which is admired by people of different religions. This practice leads the Muslim community towards the 'great jihad', which is by no means the 'holy war' but rather the struggle for the purification of the heart". "The concept of dialogue as an expression of love is what we try to live and share in so many ways," the message says, "and we see that the spirit of Ramadan is a path in this direction. Also "If all religions have specific forms of fasting, prayer and charity, we must agree on the central point of spirituality, namely love". "At a critical time in history marked by disasters, climate change and signs of world war, we must come together in the spirit of Ramadan to reflect on what we can do together to promote love in all areas," the text continues. "We are deeply convinced that the culture of dialogue is the path to peace and that true peace is nourished by love. The world today must be united around the many dramatic events in history. We are invited to reflect on what we can do to promote a genuine dialogue with Creation". During Ramadan, concludes Father D'Ambra, "we are all invited to reflect on the urgency of a shared commitment to protecting Mother Earth, our 'common home', and to make decisions and do works of peace today, in a mission that we must fulfill together, a mission of fasting from our selfishness in order to put love for God, love for neighbor and love for creation back at the center of life". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 14/3/2024)